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Jim Gray is an Americanmarker sportscaster. He has previously worked as a reporter with NBC Sports and CBS Sports. He is currently with the Westwood One radio network, Showtime, The Golf Channel and ESPN/ESPN on ABC but has provided NBC with commentary during the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Biography

Notable events covered and athletes interviewed

Gray has been well known for his interview technique. Gray has broken numerous sports stories and has scored a number of exclusive interviews with Mike Tyson, Kobe Bryant, Ron Artest, Dennis Rodman, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Barry Bonds and others. Gray has won 11 National Emmy Awards and has twice been named the Sports Reporter of the Year by the ASA. Gray has worked on many major sporting events including numerous Super Bowls, World Series, NBA Finals, NCAA Final Fours, Olympics, The Mastersmarker and World Boxing Title Fights. Gray was named as one of the 50 Greatest Sports Broadcasters of All-Time by David Halberstam, ranking 49th.

Gray was the sideline reporter for the Pacers–Pistons brawl in 2004. He was also the reporter on the air for Showtime for the Tyson/Holyfield fight in 1997 in which Tyson bit off Holyfield's ear. Gray also reported on the Olympic bombing from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Gray served as a reporter for NBC Sports coverage of Boxing at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

Notable interviews

Gray has been known for his close relationship with Kobe Bryant, which showed in the immediate aftermath of Bryant's sexual assault situation (the night when the news broke, Gray appeared on SportsCenter in defense of Bryant's character) and in several sideline interviews. It was Gray whom Bryant phone called to vent about teammate Shaquille O'Neal in October of that year (a phone call that started one of O'Neal and Bryant's worst disagreements). Gray's interviews with maligned baseball player Barry Bonds in 2006 and 2007 were the only one on one interviews that Bonds did after breaking both Babe Ruth's and Hank Aaron's home run records. In each interview Bonds denied using steroids or any performance enhancing drugs.

The Pete Rose interview

The most notable interview of Gray's sportscasting career occurred with former baseball player Pete Rose. During Game 2 of the 1999 World Series, Rose was introduced as a member of the Major League Baseball All-Century Team. After the ceremony, Gray (who was covering the series for NBC) pointedly queried Rose about allegations of gambling on baseball, which he repeatedly denied:

Many people were outraged over Gray's aggressive questioning, feeling that it detracted from the ceremony. Others felt that given the dichotomy of Rose's banishment from baseball and his inclusion on the All-Century Team, the questions were appropriate.

After conducting the interview, Gray offered no apology for his line of questioning toward Rose:

However, after the heavy criticism heaped onto Gray and NBC, Gray did offer the following apology on-air prior to the start of Game 3:

Despite Gray's pre-game apology, New York Yankees outfielder Chad Curtis snubbed Gray's request for an on-field interview with him right after hitting the game winning walk-off home run at the behest of his team:

On January 8, 2004, more than four years after the interview, Rose's autobiography My Prison Without Bars was published. Through that book, Rose finally admitted publicly to betting on baseball games.

References

  1. Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup - A blog on sports media, news and networks - baltimoresun.com
  2. Transcript of Gray's interview with Kobe Bryant questioning Shaquille O'Neal's leadership


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